Valentines Day- House Parent Style

After having worked on Valentines Day the last three years my wife is a little frustrated. This year I have a plan in the works. You may want to take notes or print this blog out. Now, let me show you the ways of love…

Phase One- Tell all the boys they have unlimited Playstation time. I will also let them know that I think they are all responsible enough to decide who can play next. Within 30 minutes there should be some name calling and at least one fight. That will be just enough to get them sentenced to early bed. It may be borderline ethical, possibly even evil, but all is fair in love and war.

Phase Two- Operation Taco Bell. The trick to cooking for my wife will be to get a couple of combo meals from the bell, throw it on the finest china we have in the cottage (two plates with a few chips in them) and drop a few comments about having to cook all day.

Phase Three- Since our facility strongly frowns upon alcohol inebriation while on duty, I will be serving up nothing but the finest in grape juice from the food bank stock. The expiration says 1999, I will tell my wife it was a good year and all the sludge on the bottom of the bottle is what you look for when picking a vintage juice product.

Phase Four- Set the scene. Since the fire marshall prohibits any candles being burned in the cottage, I will borrow some of the kids night-lights to set a nice ambiance in the living room. Sure a couple of the kids are scared of the dark, but again it goes back to the love and war thing.

Phase Five- Slow jams. I have provided a Youtube link on the blog here to a Christopher Cross video, “Sailing”. If this does not melt your wife’s heart, nothing will. This is the epitome of Adult Contemporary Classics. Or as the kids call it, “Elevator music”. Just crank the computer volume all the way up and invite her for a nice slow dance in the living-room.

Phase Six- This is the part where things are going great. Your happy, the wife is happy and the world is as it should be, happy. That is about when one of the kids runs down stairs and tells my wife I swiped their night-light. My wife will return night-lights and read a book to them to put them back to sleep. Romantic evening should be just about killed by this point.

Phase Seven- Snuggle on the couch to watch romantic episodes of “CSI”. Nothing like a good crime thriller to put you both to sleep.

I’m hoping that phase six doesn’t happen, but we all know in some form or fashion it will. I am open to suggestions if any one has another plan that will be a little more successful. Casanova I am not.

Well that’s it. Launch’s Valentines Day extravaganza. Happy Valentines Day. -Launch

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Day 1: After 8 months of waiting for a sponsor to donate a video game system, I received a phone call from the office to come and pick up a Playstation2. Immediately I am overcome with the joy of surprising the boys with such a generous gift. I skip to the office and return to the cottage to install the system in the special area of the living room we have set aside for this moment.

I am also reminded of the fact that I challenged the webmaster of our beloved network to a video game timer build off. I can taste the sweet victory of my obvious man skills surpassing that of the webmaster. First I must research (play) some of the games to make sure they will be appropriate for the kids.

Day 2: The kids have completed all chores in record time. Their bedrooms even have the pleasant smell of pine. They seem to be very motivated by earning the privilege of playing the Playstation.

I have gathered materials at Home Depot and Radio Shack to build the timer. I draw up plans using a variety of crayons for the different components. I marvel at my genius and stick like drawing skills.

The boys are having difficulty taking turns on the game. There is tension in the air. I need to hurry and finish the timer project to keep the peace.

Day 3: I stayed up until 5-am researching the game “Medal Of Honor”. My wife asked my why I would play a game that long, I tell her it is for the good of the boys that I make sure it will be appropriate for them to play. She shakes her head and walks off to the other room saying something under her breath about me being full of something…

The boys had a fist fight over playing time. I started using the egg timer to keep time limits fair. Meanwhile my video timer is not coming together like it should. I need to hurry, I feel as though something really bad is going to happen soon.

The boys have figured out that when I’m not looking they can turn the dial back on the egg timer and get more playtime. At least they are working together for a common cause now.

Day 4: In a fit of rage, frustration and tears, I threw my plans in the dumpster and all the components to the timer in the attic. As I came down the stairs I could hear my wife and the boys quietly giggling. As I feared, she is with them now. I am all alone.

On the plus side my research on “Medal Of Honor” is going well. To date I have killed well over 600 Nazi’s and single handedly won the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Day 7: I have not slept in two days. The boys cannot even turn on the game system without arguing about whose turn it is. They have time limits, but they have organized themselves into a battle hardened group of brats. While one of them plays the Playstation, the others create distractions that cause me to run around the cottage putting out fires, sometimes literally.

I would throw out the game system, but I fear it would cause out right mutiny. I turn to the web for help. I come across a Video Game system timer that works with tokens.

I bought it. Now I pray that we can hold on until our logistical support (FEDEX) arrives with the timer. Unfortunately delivery will be delayed if the temperature in South Carolina goes below 35 degrees and the entire state shuts down. Bread and milk disappear from the shelves of stores and it becomes mandatory for everyone to drive their SUV’s into ditches and telephone poles.

I fear I may never see our off duty quarters again…

Worst part about all of this- The webmaster wins our build off. I can’t even plug in a soldering iron with out having medical support on site. Obviously I need to finally recognize I have absolutely no technical proficiency.

I will post when the timer comes in (If I’m still on this side of eternity) and give a review. -Launch